New academy manager for Millers

Garreth Barker
Garreth Barker
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Rotherham United have appointed a new academy manager.

He is Garreth Barker who joins the Millers after working in the academy setup at Bolton Wanderers.

“It’s an exciting time for the football club with the new stadium and a new training ground coming in the next 12 months or so,” he said.

“For the academy, we’ve got a great move to Sheffield Hallam University at a purpose- built facility.

“And there’s some excellent staff here which is very good for me.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity and I hope I’ll be here for a long time.”

He started his coaching career with Crewe Alexandra and has since held coaching positions in the youth structures at Morecambe, Preston North End and Wigan Athletic.

After leaving Wigan he joined Blackpool where he held the position of assistant head of youth and became acting head of youth. He joined Bolton’s academy in 2011.

“Being at Crewe Alexandra was a good education for me, and then part-time at Port Vale and some non-league football.

“I had four or five seasons at Blackpool working from reserve team level to managing the Centre of Excellence before a couple of years at Bolton Wanderers in a Category 1 academy.

“But because I wanted a senior position and the chance to be in charge myself, I accepted the position here when I was offered it at Rotherham.

“I have absolutely no ambition to work in a first-team environment.

“I’ve done it in the past, having been around reserve team football.

“I made it clear I wouldn’t want to be a manager because I don’t know how you’d put up with the stresses that involves, youth development is very much where I want to be in my career.

“Under 18s is a great challenge, it’s the transitional period from schoolboy football to men’s football, and it’s crucial we get this right, getting the lads into reserve team football and further.

“Maybe in future we can look towards a Category 1 or Category 2 academy and have an Under 21s too.

Barker replaces former academy manager Steve Moss who left the club late last as did head of academy coaching Tony Mee, who has taken up a position with York City.